Business Advisors

Matthew-Fust

Matthew Fust, MBA

Former CFO Onyx, Jazz, ALZA (merged with J&J); Board member, Neumora, Arsenal Bio, Atara, Ultragenyx
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Matthew is an advisor to life sciences companies, executive teams and investors. From 2009 through 2013, he was CFO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, culminating in the company’s acquisition by Amgen. He previously served as CFO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals (2003 – 2008), CFO of Perlegen Sciences (2002 – 2003), and CFO of ALZA Corporation, where he was an executive from 1996 through the company’s acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 2001. Prior to joining ALZA, Matthew was a member of the healthcare strategy consulting practice at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). 

He serves on the boards of directors of Atara Biotherapeutics, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals and Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals. He is also an advisor to Out Leadership/Quorum and Women In Bio.

Matthew holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

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Mark-Leslie

Mark Leslie

Former CEO, Vertias; Stanford GSB, Stanford Healthcare
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Mark Leslie is a Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Sales Organization. He is also the managing director of Leslie Ventures, a private investment company, and serves on the boards of public, private and nonprofit organizations.

Mark Leslie was Co-Founder and Chairman and CEO of Veritas Software. During his tenure as CEO, the company went from 12 employees to 6,000 employees, and from a revenue base of $95,000 per year to $1,500,000,000 per year. In 2000, Veritas was the 10th largest independent software company by revenue, third largest by market capitalization, and achieved the distinction of becoming a Fortune 1000 company.

From 1980 until 1990 he served as president and chief executive officer of two Silicon Valley high-tech start-up companies. His prior experience included sales management, sales executive, systems engineer, and software engineer focused on operating systems.

Mark currently serves on the boards of, or is an advisor to. a number of high-tech and biotech companies. Mark is also on the boards of Stanford Health Care, New York University and the Leslie Family Foundation.

Mark received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and mathematics from New York University in 1966 and completed Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development (PMD)in 1980.

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Stanford Business School
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ameet-mallik

Ameet Mallik, MBA

CEO, ADC Therapeutics, Former EVP, US Oncology at Novartis, McKinsey, Wharton
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Ameet Mallik is CEO of ADC Therapeutics, and a member of the Board of Directors of Atara Biotherapeutics and Rafael Holdings, where he previously served as its Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that, Mr. Mallik served as Executive Vice President and Head, U.S. Oncology of Novartis. In this role, Mr. Mallik was responsible for Novartis’ commercial and medical oncology operations in the United States. Mr. Mallik also served as Global Head, Marketing, Value and Access, and as Head, Latin America and Canada, both for Novartis Oncology. Mr. Mallik began his career at Novartis as Head of Strategic Planning and has held a number of commercial leadership roles at Novartis and Sandoz. At Sandoz, Mr. Mallik was Global Head of Biopharmaceuticals & Oncology Injectables. Mr. Mallik previously worked as an Associate Principal at McKinsey and Company. Mr. Mallik holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. in Biotechnology and B.S. in Chemical Engineering, both from Northwestern University.

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Mike-Nohaile

Mike Nohaile, PhD

CSO, Generate Biomedicines; Former SVP Amgen, Novartis, McKinsey, UC Berkeley, MIT
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Mike Nohaile, PhD, is Senior Vice President of Strategy, Commercialization & Innovation at Amgen Inc. since 2017. Dr. Nohaile joined Amgen as Vice President of Strategy in December 2012. Prior to Amgen, he served as the Head and General Manager of the Molecular Diagnostics Business Unit at Novartis. He served Novartis as the Head of Corporate Strategy and Head of Pharmaceutical Strategy.

Mike began his career at McKinsey & Company, as partner in the New Jersey office, where he worked extensively in the healthcare area with a particular focus on diagnostics, devices and pharmaceuticals. He has a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from University of California, Berkeley and he was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT in the Department of Biology.

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Scientific Advisors

Irina-Conboy

Irina Conboy, PhD

Professor, Bioengineering, UC Berkeley

Irina Conboy is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Bioengineering. Her discovery of the rejuvenating effects of young blood through parabiosis in a seminal paper published in Nature in 2005 paved the way for a thriving field of rejuvenation biology. The Conboy lab currently focuses on broad rejuvenation of tissue maintenance and repair, stem cell niche engineering, elucidating the mechanisms underlying muscle stem cell aging, directed organogenesis, and making CRISPR a therapeutic reality.

Professor Conboy served as Dr. Yousef’s co-thesis advisor (2008-2013).

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CONBOY LABORATORY
UC Berkeley

Peter-Jackson

Peter Jackson, PhD

Professor, Stanford School of Medicine, former Director, Genentech
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Peter Jackson is a Professor in the Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Jackson returned to Stanford in 2013 after eight years as a Staff Scientist and Director at Genentech Inc. in S. San Francisco, California. At Genentech, he helped define and implement the development of therapeutics for cancer pathways including cell cycle checkpoints, stress pathways, and tumor metabolism. Before joining Genentech in 2005, he spent 10 years on the faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine. His laboratory has been involved in studies of cell cycle biochemistry, regulation of the cancer by kinases and phosphatases, the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and the discovery of a new physiological class of competitive (“pseudosubstrate”) E3 ubiquitin ligase inhibitors, exemplified by the APC/C regulator Emi1.

Since 2005, his lab has focused on signaling through the primary cilium, using proteomic approaches to define regulatory networks and new disease genes. More broadly, the lab has connected many proteins defective in human diseases and cancer to new complexes and pathways, with a view to discovering molecular signatures for diagnostics and therapeutic development. His research has earned him numerous visiting lectureships and honors, including awards from the Baxter Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Pluto Society, and being a Stanford Hume Faculty Scholar and a Kirsch Scholar, and elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (in 2008).

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Stanford School of Medicine

David-Schaffer

David Schaffer, PhD

Professor, UC Berkeley, Director, Berkeley Stem Cell Center, co-founder, 4D Molecular Therapeutics; Director, Bakar BioEnginuity Hub
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David Schaffer is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Bioengineering, and Neuroscience at UC Berkeley, where he also serves as the Director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center. In addition, he is Co-Founder, Acting CSO, and Co-Chairman of 4D Molecular Therapeutics.

At UC Berkeley, Dr. Schaffer applies engineering principles to enhance stem cell and gene therapy approaches for neuroregeneration, work that includes novel approaches for molecular engineering and evolution of new viral vectors as well as new technologies to investigate and control stem cell fate decisions.

Professor Schaffer served as Dr. Yousef’s co-thesis advisor (2008-2013).

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UC Berkeley

Joe-Wu

Joe Wu, MD, PhD

Professor, Stanford School of Medicine, Director, Stanford Cardiovascular Institute
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Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD, is Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and Simon H. Stertzer Endowed Professor in the Departments of Medicine (Cardiology) and Radiology at Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Wu received his medical degree from Yale. He completed his medicine internship, residency, and cardiology fellowship (STAR program) at UCLA. He obtained his PhD in the Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology with Dr. Sam Sanjiv Gambhir. His clinical interests include adult congenital heart disease and cardiovascular imaging.

His lab works on biological mechanisms of patient-specific and disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with a focus on cardiovascular disease mechanisms and the implementation of precision medicine for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular patients. His lab uses a combination of genomics, stem cells, cellular & molecular biology, physiological testing, and molecular imaging technologies. Dr. Wu has published >400 manuscripts with H-index of 101 on Google scholar and recognition as top 1% of highly cited researchers in Web of Science (2018, 2019 & 2020). Among his trainees, >30 of them are principal investigators in the US or abroad.

Dr. Wu has received numerous awards, including National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award, NIH Roadmap Transformative Award, American Heart Association (AHA) Innovative Research Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) given out by President Obama, AHA Established Investigator Award, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Innovation in Regulatory Science Award, AHA Merit Award, and AHA Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Wu serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Keystone Symposia, FDA Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee, AHA National Board of Directors, and Chair of the AHA National Research Committee.

Dr. Wu is an elected member of American Society of Clinical Investigators (ASCI), Association of University Cardiologists (AUC), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), American Association of Physicians (AAP), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

In addition, he has been scientific co-founder of several startups.

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Stanford School of Medicine
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Preclinical and Clinical Consultants

Joyce-James

Joyce James, PhD

Nonclinical and pharmacology consultant; Former VP Early Dev, Odonate; Former VP Clinical Pharmacology, Lyric Pharma; Former Sr. Director Drug Metabolism, PK, Cytokinetics
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Joyce James, Ph.D., is a strong leader with over twenty years of industry experience dedicated to the discovery and development of therapeutics, including small molecules, peptides, and biologics. Areas of expertise include nonclinical, early phase clinical trials, and bioanalytical, biomarker, and pharmacodynamic assays to support all stages of development, including related development and regulatory strategy. Founder of Corvid LLC, an early development and clinical pharmacology consulting company. Previously served as Vice President of Early Development and member of the management team for Odonate Therapeutics, an oncology-focused company. Founding and core member of Lyric Pharmaceuticals, serving as Vice President, Clinical Pharmacology & Early Development. Prior to Lyric, served as Senior Director and Head of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics & Analytical Chemistry at Cytokinetics, supporting numerous research and clinical programs. Held senior positions at Ambit Biosciences, playing a key role in the discovery and development of quizartinib for the treatment of FLT3-ITD positive acute myelogenous leukemia (approved in Japan). Provided critical support for the successful filing of multiple INDs and deep experience in nonclinical and clinical Phase 1 study designs. Consult for a number of biopharmaceutical companies providing ADME, analytical, clinical pharmacology, and bioanalytical support. Began a pharmaceutical career as a Research Fellow at Merck Research Labs, devoting time to both NMR spectroscopy and discovery DMPK. Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry, The University of California, Berkeley, Department of Chemistry and B.S. in Biochemistry, The College of Charleston, Department of Chemistry, summa cum laude.

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Nicholas-E.-Johnson

Nicholas E. Johnson, MD, MSCI, FAAN

Clinical Consultant; Professor and Vice Chair of Research, Neuromuscular Diseases, VCU
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Nicholas E. Johnson, MD, MSCI, FAAN is an associate professor, division chief of neuromuscular, and vice chair of research in the department of neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University with a focus in inherited neuromuscular disorders. He received his undergraduate degree in molecular and cellular biology and psychology at the University of Arizona. He then obtained his medical degree at the University of Arizona. He completed his neurology residency and combined fellowship in neuromuscular medicine and experimental therapeutics at the University of Rochester. His laboratory is focused on identifying the pathogenesis of myotonic dystrophy, the limb girdle muscular dystrophies, and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and identifying appropriate clinical endpoints for these conditions. Johnson conducts therapeutic trials in many other inherited nerve and muscle disorders.

Research Expertise

Translational laboratory focused on identifying genetic modifiers across muscular dystrophies, and developing clinical endpoints and patient reported outcomes for myotonic dystrophy, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, and the limb girdle muscular dystrophy. The laboratory uses cellular models to identify changes in RNA splicing in myotonic dystrophy.

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VCU

Tandis-Vazin

Tandis Vazin, PhD

Preclinical Consultant; Acrigen, 4DMT, Johns Hopkins, UC Berkeley
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The main objective of my scientific career has been to combine my studies in basic biology with innovative bioengineering approaches to find solutions to unmet challenges in biology and medicine. My academic training was primarily founded on stem cell engineering and gene therapy, with applications in regenerative medicine in the nervous system. After receiving my Ph.D. training in stem cell and cellular neurobiology at Johns Hopkins University and NIH, I joined Professor David Schaffer’s laboratory at UC Berkeley as a postdoctoral researcher. At UC Berkeley, by using a combination of advanced biological techniques including biomaterial systems and viral engineering, I made significant contributions to solving some of the critical challenges faced in cell and gene therapies for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Since completing my postdoctoral training and serving as a senior scientist at UC Berkeley, I have been an integral part of three cell and gene therapy-focused companies. I have successfully built scientific teams and departments to support proof-of-concept studies as well as IND-enabling work. At 4DMT, my department developed model systems for discovery and characterization of novel Adeno Associated Virus (AAV) variants with enhanced gene delivery efficiency and selectivity for treatment of retinal, muscle, lung, central nervous system (CNS), and liver monogenic and complex disorders. In this role, I provided scientific innovation and leadership in proof-of concept studies for multiple pipeline programs and platform improvement efforts progressing multiple products to IND-enabling studies and human clinical trials. At Ambys Medicines, I was responsible for establishing a gene therapy-focused department to develop therapeutics for treatment of severe liver disease and provided scientific innovation and leadership in various programs for liver cellular reprogramming and rejuvenation. I also served as the head of viral manufacturing. I am currently the CSO of Acrigen Biosciences and responsible for scientific development of technologies that can improve the efficiency and enhance the safety of CRISPR-Cas based gene editing.

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